Rumors of a mid-engine Corvette have been swirling for six decades, but the design has never come close to reaching the production stage. Until now. In 2019, Chevrolet will move the Corvette’s engine to just behind the driver’s seat. At least that’s what automotive journalist and industry sleuth Don Sherman claims, as we’ve covered here.
In the newest episode of Hagerty Sidedrafts, hosted by Hagerty magazine editor Larry Webster, Sherman shares what he knows and also speculates about what we may see when the C8 finally becomes a reality and the engine is, as Sherman says, “where God and Enzo Ferrari meant it to be.”
Sherman has a few surprises for Webster during the 23-minute interview. Among them, he says the No. 1 reason for the Corvette’s mid-engine design is image, despite Webster’s assumption that the reason is power. “The clientele is getting older, and kids aren’t putting [photos of] them on their bedroom walls anymore… It’s a dramatically different profile and shape… totally fresh.”
Sherman agrees that power is also important to the equation, after “the visuals and the proportions.” It’s about physics. “With the engine/center of gravity more to the rear, you can brake deeper into corners, you can turn in faster and have quicker response from the steering, and the whole car, because the polar moment of inertia is lower. Physicists know this; car designers know it.”
Webster pushes back, however, when Sherman speculates that the C8’s small-block V-8 will produce 600 horsepower. “Wait a second, a ZR-1 you can buy today makes 750,” Webster says, defiantly. “They’re not going to debut this thing with less than that, are they?” For Sherman’s answer, listen to the podcast.
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